Comments about ‘Timothy R. Clark: Elected office was never intended to be a career’

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Published: Thursday, April 25 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

" A system that provides inherent advantages to those who are incumbent, wealthy or famous is not acceptable."

A good reason to keep Utah's neighborhood system.

Los Angeles, CA

It is the junior members of congress, not the senior members, who are refusing to compromise and causing the current government gridlock.

Heber City, UT

Amen. Although he has reverence for our founders, can anyone imagine Mike Lee following their examples and stepping aside to resume his legal career? Not happening. Ever. He is our Senator For Life for better or worse just like his colleague.


I'd like to propose an experiment. I always hear people complain about "politicians for life," and talk about the need for term limits to stop "career politicians." They always complain about congressmen and senators running forever. So here is my experiment: In the next congressional election vote for the guy who is not currently in office. Obviously, most of Utah is not going to do that. They will vote back in the same people that have been there forever. Then they will talk about the need for term limits.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Excellent article.

Can anyone spell the words TERM LIMITS?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

To be across the board (not just one state here or there), term limits would require a constitutional amendment.

The easiest fix would be a 12 year consecutive limit in the House or Senate (with allowances for someone who assumed less than half the term of the prior Senator or House member due to death, disability, etc.). This keeps the current terms and allows enough time for each to get accustomed to Washington and make a difference. Then, let them come home.

Whether you are liberal or conservative this would mean the loss of some you love and some you loathe. But some churn would be good.

Saint George, UT

The irony is how many citizens will vote for a Republican or Democrat,then audaciously castigate the opposing party candidate; so blind that they can't even see that it is two sides of the same coin! Timothy Clark is right on here!

American Fork, UT

Term limits would be great. What would be even greater is a population that was politically involved and didn't simply vote for the guy who's name the recognize. If we had good turnout at caucuses and primaries we wouldn't get the same people over and over again. In Utah the general election is pretty much meaningless since the (R) will win no matter what, the lower levels are where the important stuff happens, but turnout is pretty abysmal.


Well presented argument for term limits. If the Congress felt the need to add term limits to the President because of the abuse of power by FDR, then the medicine should also be good enough for Congress. Addtionally with over 300 million people in the country, we should be abel to find competent men and women that can serve in Congress. I've read many of the arguments against term limits, but feel like the bigger issue of career politicians is more hazardous to our country than the other effects we currently face.


I love the idea of term limits. But realize we have the ability to implement a "term limit" every 2 years for congressmen and every 6 years for senators. If you truly feel your congressman should be term limited, don't send him back next year.

Stansbury Park, Ut

Revisionism is nice and I agree that there is some grounds for argument, but many if not most experts believe that the Senate was to be an organization where incumbents spent long terms. In fact some at the Constitutional Convention wanted the Senate to be a life time appointment. James Madison, Edmund Randolph and others wanted 7 year or longer terms (a vote was held on 9 year terms that almost passed) for Senators. Alexander Hamilton and his group wanted lifelong terms for Senators. These founding fathers believed that the House of Representatives might be too unstable to effectively govern. It appears that their ideas might have had merit because, we have a House of Representatives currently that appears unable to effectively govern just as they prophesied. Unfortunately the rules of the Senate have changed over the years to also make it less effective. Simple majority vote items now require a supermajority.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The problem with government is that money and personal greed drives mankind if every thing he does. Consequently the people elected to government positions are loyal to their financial benefactors rather than people in general. If we would have good government for the people we need to stop or lessen the power of the financial influence.

One way to do this would be to prohibit financial incentives from business, unions, and all other singular motivated groups effecting election and representation.

Another way is to remove the roadblocks, hurdles and impediments of voting by the people that prevent people wishes to be implemented.

Another way would be to allow governmental careers. Starting with a curriculum for the education of governmental types in the manner and ways of proper government, a person would acquire the skills and attitude by building a resume of government experience. Proper compensation during the career and at retirement would prevent private interference.

The government is not a business, but can you imagine the fate of a corporation that fired it’s management every couple of years.

Pheonix, AZ

"In the next congressional election vote for the guy who is not currently in office."

Voting in the opposite candidate would be the worst of the two evils...

We need some George Washingtons who will voluntarily give up their office to rotate talent in office for the good of the country. Too bad we don't have such people today

Saint George, UT

Ultra Bob: Your first paragraph is absolutely true. It's nice to see that we agree on something. It ended at that point. Socialism has done exactly what you are proposing with no success, but still retaining all the greed, selfishness, and bureaucratic nightmares. America will only do worse if we try to implement the socialist model. Americans have some decisions to make that have very little to do with politics, although,judging from newspaper headlines, it appears that it has everything to do with it. The decision is this: Do we follow the God of this land and retain our rights and liberties or do we lose our rights and liberties because we don't want to follow the God of this land? There is absolutely nothing you or I can propose that will make a hill of beans if people don't want to live according to God's law. If we think we can disregard God's laws and propose man made solutions to our challenges in its place, ie.socialism, it will fail, and quite miserably.


We all agree, yet we keep electing the same people every year. We only have ourselves to blame. I like @fatheroffour's idea. But no one will do it because we think "our" Representatives are not the problem and that it is everyone else's that needs to go.



That is exactly my point. When asked about congressional approval overall, only 8% approve of the current congress. But when asked about their specific representative, approval is closer to 40%. In other words, "I hate congress, but my guy is one of the good ones." And congress knows that. They know that they can do whatever they want, or do nothing at all, and get re-elected. They've proven it over and over. The moment that we as voters change that dynamic is the moment things start to change. Everyone likes to look at the nation as a business. It's time we started firing some of the management. Sending the same people back over and over produces the same results. What's that quote about insanity? Congress isn't going to impose term limits on itself. It's up to us to do that.

Danish American
Payson, UT

When the Constitution was originally written the House was to be elected by the individual voters to represent the population as a whole. Senators were to be elected by the State Legislatures to represent the States interests. This was changed by a foolish, populist campaign. If the Senate represented the States as intended would we have the unfunded mandates we have now. Harry Reid couldn't have gotten 145% of the votes of the Legislature! States rights wouldn't have been trampled the way they have been since that Amendment changed the balance of power. It would be much easier to get rid of the deadwood in the Senate and campaigns wouldn't be so darned expensive.

Durham, NC

I am not a preachy kind of guy... I hold my faith very dear... and don't use it to battle other with. But when I read 4th Nephi... and then I hear "conservatives' talk about individualism, I have a hard time reconciling this. For nealy 100 years, people lived together in peace - because there were no "ties" among them... they were all "one".

But then we read

"24 And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in apride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world.

25 And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more acommon among them."

Now I am not in favor of what conservatives throw around as "socialism".... but there is undoubtable a stewardships we have with one and another.... and emphasizing "self" over others.... that seems to fall into the wrong camp to me.

I am tired of people taking the easy route and dividing our society into little "ties"... we need to be one people. Our leaders need to be one...

J Thompson

There can be no division between people or parties unless both people/parties want that division. There can also be no compromise on principles or those principles are destroyed. Surely UtahBlueDevil knows that absence of love and of charity are not the evils of one party alone.

We will be "one" when people can agree on what we should be. We have a Constitution that half the people have tossed out or modified in their minds to mean something other than what is written. We have a President who swore an oath to protect that Constitution and then used his "pulpit" to shout at Senators who stood up for the protections guaranteed under the 2nd Amendment.

I agree that no politician should serve multiple terms and that no politician should ever become so "popular" that he can make a career out of "service". But, term limits is the wrong way to handle things. We, the people, have a responsibility to clean house and to see that fresh faces are on the ballot each election cycle.

Kearns, UT

Until lobbiests are banned, political contributions and soft money from all kinds of sources (Unions, NRW, Trial Lawyers, Businesses), retirements, perks, franking, etc, etc, etc,are done away with nothing will happen.

The only way to fix this is to get a constitutional amemdment passed for 1- Term Limits, 2-Mandating that Congress live by all laws they pass.

As far as I'm concerned, Hatch can stay in as long as he wants. While I haven't agreed with everything he's done, he at least works hard for Utah.

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